Over to the left in the same home county, the sun touched its golden brow to the High Street’s Eastern end, flooding the entire length with a pearlescent mirage of soft light.
It cast a shimmering spear through a particularly well-positioned bedroom window, instantly awakening the Master, who climbed from the narrow single bed, lit a stick of rose-infused incense, struck a set of copper wind chimes and then padded off to the bathroom chanting a dawn mantra.
The Master sighed, deep in thought, and approached an overloaded bookcase on the Eastern wall of the treatment room. The afternoon sun cast rendered certain areas invisible with its blinding rays.
Scanning the shelves intently, following the words on each well-worn spine with a finely-nailed forefinger, all but that which the Master sought was readily apparent, the object itself merely absent.
After almost an hour of fruitless seeking, the Master stamped a foot and sighed loudly in frustration. Thoughts from what was by any standards a frequently exercised brain penetrated the atmosphere with ease.
Where on Earth is the magical book?
There was no answer to this question.
Didn’t I see it just after Halle Bop came around again and the moon was side by side with Jupiter?
Again, there was no answer, but the Master felt sure this was when the rare and ancient copy of ‘Pros Theon’, which translated into English as ‘By the Gods’, had last been consulted.
Where can it be, for heaven’s sake?
Who could say? No word came, though the room was imbibed with an overpowering sense that to lose the text completely would be disastrous.
There were only seven transcripts of the book left in existence and at least two of those – the Master’s included – were incomplete. Of the other six, a well-used copy was with the exiled Dalai Lama and the Chief Rabbi – who may well have denied its existence had he been questioned – kept a pristine version hidden away in his library behind the more orthodox texts.
Mahavatar Babaji had somehow obtained a copy of the book that he subsequently left with his disciples, while a famously un-heard of Sufi Magician inherited the fifth from his grandfather. This highly revered leader of a largely forgotten tribe of nomads had escaped persecution by retreating to a hidden network of mountain caves above the plains of ancient Babylon.
The Vatican had the remaining two copies of Pros Theon. One was in fragments and a second had been retrieved by the Knights Templar from a vault below the Church of the Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
The Master felt a sudden chill. Could it be true that the only freely available text of Pros Theon had been lost or even stolen?